Monday, 30 November 2015

Before Bruce Lee and Mr Miyagi, it was a black man that created Karate



On African Spirituality

Spirituality is always a deep topic. My last post had me thinking about what this meant to me.  I've described myself as a functional atheist, though not in the selective, lip-service Christian definition.  More in the sense that I somewhat subscribe to African spiritualism of which I familial ties to but have zero knowledge of.  Ignorance really. But it's not bliss. Sometimes I suffer spiritual anxiety, unease that there is stuff I should know, codes I should live by, perhaps I'm on a rudderless journey through life.

I was listening to a seminar on Bantu-Kongo spirituality yesterday and was very impressed by the way the Chief articulated his Ancestral beliefs and worship, how it applied in his daily life, what it meant for his future and those in Africa and the diaspora.  I could relate to this and felt the massive gaps in my personal understanding of life.  I rejected the Christian way of life but didn't offer my spiritual self any alternatives.  I come from a community with a very well developed Ancestral worship and belief system, Igbo cosmology, but I never really had access to understand it, my community rejecting our beliefs for European Christianity.  Practitioners were branded Idol worshippers and heretics. We were discouraged from accepting it as truth or following its instructions and rituals.  I remember stories about my late Uncle Bennett being excommunicated from the Church and made a pariah in the community because of his insistence on decorating his house with Ancestral symbolism.  But the European never succeeded in erasing African spirituality and African cosmology has simply refused to disappear, with it's syncretization into other forms in the Caribbeans, like Vodun and Santeria, to people going back to the African source to seek its truths.

So I find myself seeking knowledge anew, somewhat at the start of knowledge of self.  I've always had an interest in African cosmology, but passively so, never studying what it really means.  Just ordered some books from Amazon, African Spirituality by Jacob Olupona, Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Arkana) by Malidoma Some, After God is Dibia by John Umeh.  Perhaps a starting point, some historical and analysis perspective, some grounding before I seek the practical side.


Black Woman is one of God's most beautiful creation